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Competition to Your C-store?

Many retail powerhouses are now carving out new niches around the principle of convenience. Is your c-store ready for new neighbors?

Check out the competition so far:

Amazon Go
Located in Seattle, Amazon Go’s very first brick-and-mortar store is currently in its employee-only, beta program phase. Stores offer a convenient, technology-based shopping experience—namely no lines and no checkout. Customers log in to the Amazon Go app, which tracks the items customers take from the shelves and carry out of the store. A customer’s account is then automatically charged. The futuristic store has been referred to as a cross between a convenience store and grocery store, offering everyday staple items plus meal kits. There is no word yet on when future stores will open throughout the U.S.

DG AutoDeliver from Dollar General
Billed as the most convenient way to get products when you need them, DG AutoDeliver automatically sends customers preselected items on a regular basis. The chain is considering adding more perishable items to its packaged-goods mainstay lineup and plans to open more smaller stores this year, to the tune of 6,000 square feet, some as small as 3,600 square feet.

The vast majority of neighborhood c-stores like yours are probably not planning to go “cashier-less” or start delivering products any time soon—and that could be a great benefit, because the “human factor” of your c-store goes a long way with customers. And most c-store operators tend to agree—a hyper-local, personal connection is a key differentiator.

“It's drastically important to have that human connection,” says Bill Loeder, C-Buying Group member and owner of Loeder BP in Waterloo, WI. “Most of our employees pretty much know everyone by name.”

Loeder believes part of the reason customers come into the store is for that kind of personal interaction and chat time with the staff. He regards it as an important piece of the experience.

For more ideas on how to enhance customer experience, check out myCsquare’s Retail Video Tips!
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